National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

18 August 2009

graduationHave you ever thought of improving your business skills? Well now you can with the help of the MBA Agri-Farm Scholarship scheme.

Established four years ago by John Beckett, former chairman of Genus and NWF Group, the main objective of the scholarship is to offer farmers and agricultural professionals the opportunity to learn valuable business skills resulting in an MBA from the Cranfield School of Management, one of the world’s leading business schools.

The scholarship provides recipients with a substantial contribution to the tune of £28,000 toward the cost of studying. So far, three students have taken part in the scholarship and in June two of these formally graduated (Mark Hall and Richard Milligan-Manby) and were presented with their MBA, and the third (Dan Powell) will graduate early next year.

All three say the scheme has changed their lives for the better and equipped them with the knowledge and tools to improve and make changes to the businesses they are involved with.

The scholarship can be completed on a full-time one-year basis or part time spread over two years. Applications for the next scholarships are now being sought and the closing date is November so if you are interested or would like to find out more information about the scholarship scheme, visit or call 01234 754812.

Companies or organisations who would like to lend their backing and provide sponsorship to the charity would mean that more individuals within the industry could gain the business skills provided through the MBA. To pledge your support, please contact John Beckett at

03 August 2009

TFA and Savills

New entrants are set to benefit from the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) and Savills’ expertise following confirmation of Defra funding for the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) regional tenancy training events.

Successfully piloted last year, the training events were initially developed to help new entrants secure tenancies and support the NFYFC’s Farm Business Development Competition sponsored by the TFA and supported by Defra and Savills.

TFA chief executive George Dunn and Savills’ director Clive Beer have worked with NFYFC to address issues for new entrant tenancy training.

TFA chief executive George Dunn said: “The TFA has been proud sponsors of the National Farm Business Development Competition for five years and as a judge on the panel I have seen the quality of entry improve year on year. The addition of Clive Beer from Savills to the judging panel has been enormously beneficial in helping to raise the standards and in identifying areas of weakness which we can now follow up with specific training. The competition, backed by good quality training, provides a great platform for success for anyone looking to gain entry to the industry through an agricultural tenancy.”

Savills director Clive Beer commented: "Undoubtedly, one of the biggest hurdles facing new entrants to farming is the tenancy application. We are delighted to be involved in this extremely valuable initiative for young farmers and Defra's funding is a much welcomed endorsement of what we are hoping to achieve."

Jo Maynard and Andrew Ham  found entering the  Farm Business Tenancy  competition has helped them in  their careersCornwall YFC’s Jo Maynard, who was placed third in the competition, found the exercise helpful for her career as a surveyor.

She commented that clients often asked for help with the preparation of tender documents but from the perspective of running systems not creating ideas or tackling the interview process.

She said the competition had provided her with a stronger awareness of interview questions and she would now be better placed to advise clients on how to respond. Both Jo and her competition partner Andrew Ham had learned from the business planning and cost analysis exercise as well as the interview process.

She concluded by saying that she thought the competition had been invaluable for new entrants into farming. She would be spreading the word to members in her county to take advantage of future training opportunities.

Agriculture and rural affairs officer Sarah Palmer added: “NFYFC is delighted to be working with our industry partners to deliver comprehensive training that will not only help those taking part in the competition, but also puts members in a very strong position to secure future farming opportunities.”

Details of dates and venues for the regional events will be confirmed later this year.


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